Reelers?

The_Healys

Message 15610 · 25 Jan 1999 20:38:44 · Fixed-width font · Whole thread

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Anselm Lingnau writes:

> Jim Healy, where are you when we need you?
Travelling but there is enough misinformation going on that I need
must attach the portable to the mobile and intervene at what cost
I dread to think. So briefly,

The young exuberant dancers with birling possibly bordering on the
excessive (in whose view, Healy?) are the Ceilidh dancers. Best
definition of which remains that given (quoted?) by Ian Brockbank
a few years ago - <ye canna point your toes in Doc. Martens>

Reelers take their SCD very seriously and when they birl it is
controlled and expected by the other dancers e.g in the Reel of
the 51st it is normal if not proper, after turning first corners,
that the dancing couple will meet left hand with thumb grip, lean
forward on the first setting step, lean back on the second step of
the balance in line and then birl vigorously with left hand to
give right hand to second corners with the music. They have a
limited repertoire of dances but it is important to them that they
are done well by their lights. Ron Mackey's description of
dancing the Duke and Duchess is exactly how the Reelers would do
it although I do find they are less into the eye contact and
<flirting> of RSCDS style dancing. As Ron points out it is also
much less tiring and I have danced Duke of Perth in 5 couple sets
10 times, encored it ten times followed by once and to the bottom.
The Foursome Reel and half Reel of Tulloch (Reeler style) is
routinely followed by two sets instantly merging and straight into
an Eightsome.

Reelers tend to like dress-up functions which can lead to it being
a middle/upper class thing with military officer class overtones
but I have found that if you are dressed appropriately for the
occasion and know the dances well enough not to upset other dancers
you will be made very welcome.

The Reeler tradition is what the RSCDS style grew out of. It was
not the rumbunctious style that caused Mrs Stewart and Miss
Milligan such heartache. It is a tradition that still lives
refusing to adopt or be be supplanted by the more balletic style
of the RSCDS and it is one which has its place.

Hope this helps.

Jim Healy
Perth, Scotland

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